I want to be secure when I fly, but many of the new restrictions strike me as absurd. I was forced to check my rolling carry-on yesterday because it "was larger than a computer bag." Great. I had visions of arriving at CEDIA sans computer or camera.
Turns out the theories about this have changed over time. This fascinating article reminds me of the great Simon Frith essay, "Why Do Songs Have Words?" Frith posited that pop song lyrics teach the young men of our decidedly unpoetic era the language of courtship.
Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was asked on a book tour, "So tell me, sir. Why do they hate us?" Having spent half his life in America, the Pakistani writer had to think about who "us" and "they" were. This fine essay is the result of that thinking.
I do believe in copyright and I do believe that creators deserve to benefit from their creations. However, very few works of literature remain popular even 20 years after their creation–and the current standard, recently extended by another 20 years, merely prevents legitimate uses, such as this case, where James Joyce's grandson is being pompous little pimple about who is "worthy" to write about his uncle.